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Last Minute Halloween Bags -- For Kids and Grownups!

October 21, 2013

Time is running out -- we're down to single-digit countdown days for Halloween. Whether you need a fun trick-or-treat bag for the kids or a quickie clutch for a grown-up party, we've got you covered. 

Halloween style shouldn't be reserved just for trick-or-treaters, but candy bags can be stylish, too! To serve the spooky needs of kids and their adult escorts, and get things done in a hurry, I decided to play with appliqués.

I am sort of obsessed with sugar skulls at the moment. (The same way the sun is sort of a ball of fire.) So I knew I wanted a fun, slightly cartoony take on the look for a little bag for me. I also have a ceaseless adoration for bats. So I wanted to incorporate that shape into a couple of projects as well.

To start with, I sketched out designs for my motifs in the simplest outlines. I put a 1-inch grid on top so they can be scaled. 

1-halloween-bags.jpgI traced my basic pattern pieces onto Heat'n Bond, fused it to my applique fabric, and then used the traced image to cut my fabric before peeling away the paper.

2-halloween-bags.jpgThen, I fused my design -- the basic white skull out of Deer Suede velour -- onto black twill

I used a coaster to trace the circles for the outer eyes onto my Heat'n Bond, and then drew in the scalloped edges. I used a pink satin scrap fused to the Heat'n Bond to create my eye base appliques, then used a smaller circle to trace and create the interior black area out of velveteen. For the nose, I cut an elogated heart out of velveteen that already had fusible backing on it, then cut a divot out of the point of the heart. I fused all my facial pieces down, then I drew in additional details with a water-soluble marking pen. I stitched over my marker lines with a satin stitch on my machine, and added some hotfix crystals to sparkle things up. 

3-halloween-bags.jpgOnce my rhinestones were in place, I cut around the entire applique, leaving about 5/8 inch all around. I then used that as my pattern piece to cut a back piece for my bag and two lining pieces.


To set in the zipper, I placed one of the lining pieces onto the back of the bag, right sides together, and stitched a small, narrow rectangle. I cilpped the rectangle along its length and then into each of the four corners, and turned it right side out. After a good pressing, I positioned the zipper under my opening and stitched it into place just inside the folded edge of the rectangular opening. I also basted two ribbon loops to the top edge of the bag. (I use those loops to clip an existing bag strap with swivel clips onto the bag.)

5-halloween-bags.jpgWith the zipper opened up, I stitched my appliqued bag front to my bag bag with lining in place, then stitched around the entire skull shape. I finished mine with an overlock stitch to prevent fraying.

5a-halloween-bags.jpgFor the trick-or-treat version of this bag, I put a smaller version of my skull onto a plain black bag (more details on how I make mine below), and kept it simpler. Instead of all the detailing, I fused the eye and nose pieces into place, drew in my mouth with a permanent marker, and hot glued a few faux flowers into place on top of the skull. Simple, but still an unmistakeable nod to the Day of the Dead. The handles for the bag are made from a double layer of grosgrain ribbon stitched together.

6-halloween-bags.jpgFor my bat bags, things are even simpler. For the trick or treat bag, I cut three colorful bats out of small scraps of satin and taffeta, and lined them up along the front of the bag piece. To make my bag, I start with a piece of twill 24x17 inches and fold it in half so it's 12 inches wide and 17 inches tall (unstitched). 


Depending on how much time you have, you might want to stitch your appliques in place. I usually just use the standard zig-zag stitch on my machine, but I always test first and adjust to what looks best for the fabric I'm using at any given time.

8-halloween-bags.jpgAfter my bats were in place, I put the bag together by folding it in half so the apllique is on the inside, then stitching along the non-fold side and across the bottom. To make sure no precious candy cargo is lost, I run a line of reinforcement zig-zag stitching around the whole thing.

9-halloween-bags.jpgTo square off the bottom of the bag, I collapse the corners so that the bottom seam sits at the center of a triangle and run a quick stitch about an inch and a half from the tip of the triangle. After that, I just fold over the top and stitch, add some grosgrain handles, and we're ready to receive candy!


To make a little bat clutch, I appliqued a black velveteen bat onto a square of some pink corduroy I had on hand. I cut a matching piece for the back and two lining pieces, then set in the zipper using the same method I detailed in my Scrap-o-Licious shaving kit projects. 


After adding a small strap made from the same corduroy, I sewed my bag closed (leave the zipper open!) and was ready for a Halloween soiree.

12-halloween-bags.jpgHeat'n Bond appliques can help you ensure you have a unique custom Halloween accessory. While my projects feature skulls and bats, you can easily search online for other fun shapes -- spiders, witches, pumpkins, cats, the Grim Reaper, ghosts -- whatever your favorite thing is! So don't fret if you haven't put anything together yet. Just grab your scraps and something to draw with, and don't forget to have fun!

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This page contains a single entry by Holly Frey published on October 21, 2013 8:22 PM.

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